Exclusive: Amazon backs federal legalization of marijuana
Exclusive: Amazon backs federal legalization of marijuana

Myles Udland and Julie Hyman discuss Amazon’s support of efforts to legalize marijuana as the company changes its policy for marijuana usage amongst some of its workers, and what it could mean for the e-commerce giant.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, a very large company is throwing its support behind a federal marijuana legalization act. It's Amazon. And in a blog post yesterday, the boss of the consumer business, Dave Clark, said that the company supports the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. It was reintroduced in the House last month. At the same time, the company said it's no longer going to test its employees and potential employees for marijuana, unless they need to have a license, or unless they're regulated by the Department of Transportation.

So, we've been watching some of the pot stocks on the back of this, and we have been seeing some gains, some modest gains in some of the large marijuana stocks were-- cannabis was trading higher this morning-- Tilray. We were seeing a little bit of a gain in CGC, Canopy Growth, although it fell a lot yesterday in the wake of its earnings. You see Tilray's shares, they're up 1 and 1/2 percent.

And Myles, it's interesting to sort of come out publicly and make this kind of a statement. But it seems to be-- I mean, I don't know how you're thinking of it, if it's sort of in line with sort of recruiting that we've seen across the country, and companies trying to get creative in order to draw in workers, or what's the sort of motivation here.

MYLES UDLAND: Yeah, I mean, I know you guys are trolling me, trying to get me to talk about the opportunity for pot stocks here. Clearly to me, it's a labor-market story. And you know, Amazon is in a very, very competitive space right now, where it's staffing up its warehouses and it's offering, I think, $17 an hour is the latest bid in some markets for many of those warehouse type jobs. And we've also discussed on this program certain minimum-wage legislation may or may not be working its way through various state houses.

But if you are a major national employer right now, that $15 an hour is pretty much the opening bid, give or take. And if anything, it skews to the upside-- $17, $18 an hour for that type of grocery shelf stocker-type, warehouse picker-type worker that-- again, Amazon is out hiring tens of hundreds of thousands of these folks. And to me, this is clearly a recruiting effort. And it goes to that information of trying to tell people, if you were at home collecting unemployment benefits and you were sitting around getting high, don't worry.

Come on right back to Amazon. No issue here. You don't need to clean out for a month and hope you pee clean. Like, you can be hired here, so long as you're not driving a semi-truck.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, and I'm going to bring it back to pot stocks, if I may, Myles, because I do think it's interesting, though, that they're staking out-- that they're making a political statement on this also. And I will also note that pot stocks were kind of the meme stocks of a couple of years ago, and even one of them, Sundial, is now a meme stock, I think you could say.

I've been watching the MJ ETF-- and I know it is a labor story, but I think it is interesting to talk about the pot stocks, too. I've been watching the MJ ETF, which is an ETF that tracks the pot stocks, as the name would indicate. And it is down year-- it is up year-to-date-- excuse me-- or it's up more recently, I should say. Year-to-date, it's up 46%. The five-year chart, though, looks pretty ugly because there were all these high hopes over Canadian legalization and, then, the US state-by-state legalization.

And the profitability of the whole enterprise has not really materialized. I don't know if federal legalization changes that calculus or sort of making it more legitimate in the bank system changes that calculus. But it has been interesting to watch the trajectory of all of this.

One more quick thing to mention about Amazon-- they've talked about Prime Day being June 20 and 21. I know Brian Sozzi wanted to talk about that. Maybe we'll have time later in the show.

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